Testing Week Scotland 11-17 September 2017 »

… about sex

Condoms and lube can protect you from the majority of sexually transmitted infections and PrEP is now available to people at greatest risk of HIV

If you are injecting drugs, it’s important to use a new set of equipment each time you inject

You can find out more from www.KnowYourRisk.scot

New HIV Self Testing Kits »

… testing services, which can provide instant support and treatment, as well as testing for other infections, should you need them http://www.lanarkshiresexualhealth.org/hiv- hepatitis /hivclinics/hiv-clinics/  

Click here for more information: http://www.lanarkshiresexualhealth.org/hiv-hepatitis/hiv-and- aids /the-hiv-test/

NHS Lanarkshire responds to rise in cases of syphilis »

… Social Care Partnerships to address the issue.

They are raising awareness to prevent further infections occurring and to encourage anyone who may have become infected to see their GP or attend a sexual health clinic in order to be assessed and tested.

Syphilis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by vaginal, anal and oral sex.

People with syphilis may develop a sore in the genital area or in their mouth. They may also develop a rash over their body, palms of …

Inflammation »

… in the water and pulling back the foreskin to clean underneath will help.

Sexually Transmitted infections ( sti ’s) can also cause these symptoms.  A sexual health screen can be arranged at you local Integrated Sexual Health Clinics (formerly Genito-urinary GUM ).


Is when the urethra is inflamed. This is usually caused by an STI and requires treatment at a Integrated Sexual Health Clinic (formerly Genito-urinary GUM).  Symptoms can be a pus discharge …

Circumcision »

… easier to keep clean and prevent build up of smegma under the foreskin.  It also leads to fewer infections including hiv.

Gonorrhoea »

… to come back.

How can it be prevented?

The best way to prevent any sexually-transmitted infections is to practise safer sex. This means giving and getting pleasure in ways that don’t put you or your partner at risk of STIs. Always use a condom for vaginal, anal or oral sex ; or enjoy sex without penetration – like kissing, hugging, massaging, and masturbating.

How is gonorrhoea treated?

Gonorrhoea is easily treated with antibiotics, either in tablet form, or …

Menopause »

… and changes to Urethral tissue can result in increased frequency of Urinary tract Infections , painful or frequent Urination (dysuria) and some degree of urinary Incontinence .

General aches, fatigue, forgetfulness, Depression , Insomnia, irritability and Anxiety are symptoms which have also been reported in association with the menopause. In the longer term, the reduction in oestrogen production removes the protection which women enjoyed against the …

Infections »

Men and women continue to experience all manner of Infections  throughout their lives which have an impact on their sexual health. Some of these are Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STIs ) and some are not (Non STIs).

Society at large tends to make the assumption that sexuality and associated sexual health is the prerogative of the young. Apart from being mistaken, this presumption may also be misleading.

Sexually Transmitted …

Cervical Cancer »

… out at 3 yearly intervals thereafter, until the age of 60.

By practicing safer sex to prevent infections which increase your risk as well as affecting your health in other ways. An explanation of safer sex is to be found in more detail in this site under What is Sexual Health. If you smoke, it will help if you stop or reduce the activity. This will improve your health.

C Card Scheme »

… in Lanarkshire.

Condoms can help prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and can also help protect against unintended pregnancy.

Here are some frequently asked questions on what the scheme is about and how to use it.

Where do I get my C Card from?

You can pick up a C Card and leaflet from over 100 health centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Look for the sign – Free Condoms, No Fuss Available Here.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a …

Chlamydia »

… can go undetected for a very long time. Some other types of chlamydia can cause chest and eye Infections and are not passed on sexually.

How do I know if I have Chlamydia?

Many people who have chlamydia do not have any symptoms, so it is possible to have this infection and still feel well. The simple answer is to have a test. It is estimated that one in ten young people who are sexually active could have chlamydia.

What are the symptoms?

Men – Approximately 50% of …


… I be tested?

Samples are taken from the genital area. To make sure you haven’t got any other infections, you should think about having a full check-up. For men the test involves putting a small cotton wool swab or loop into the opening of the penis. For women the procedure involves taking samples from the cervix and vagina. It is very similar to having a cervical smear.

How is Chlamydia or NSU treated?

Antibiotics usually cure the problem if you are treated early. It is …

Parents »

… sexual activity

Cut the rate of teenage pregnancies

Lower the rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections

How can Speakeasy help?

Will help parents and carers to feel more confident talking to children about relationships, sex, growing up, using words they understand and are comfortable using

Will encourage an understanding of the way children pick up messages about sex from the media, their friends and the world around them

Will help parents and carers to brush up on what …

Going on Holiday? »

When on holiday it is important to remember to protect yourself from Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STI ) and HIV.  Before you head off on holiday if you need a supply of your regular contraception to take with you then contact your local sexual health clinic on 0300 303 0251 (Line open Monday to Friday 9.00 a.m. to 4.45 p.m.).  If you are looking for condoms then please use our Free Condoms, No Fuss Service, for more information on where to obtain your free condoms …

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) »

… by a doctor based on your symptoms and a pelvic examination. Swab tests are taken for the various infections which can cause Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and, if necessary, your sexual partner will be offered tests also.

How is Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) treated?

It is usually treated with antibiotic tablets. It is important that you follow the instructions about taking the tablets and complete the course to ensure the infection is treated even if you are feeling better. …

Syphilis »

… How can I best prevent infection?

The best way to stay free from sexually transmitted infections is to practice safer sex. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection and having syphilis makes it easier for HIV to be transmitted. Syphilis can be passed on through oral, vaginal and anal sex. Using a condom or dental dam will reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. Syphilis sores are very infectious and can sometimes be on areas not covered by the …

Pubic Lice (crabs) »

… You may want to go to your genitourinary medicine clinic to check for any sexually transmitted infections , which may be present without symptoms. Current sexual partners should also be treated.

Bed linen and recently used clothing should be put through a hot wash.

Will the pubic lice come back?

Treatment is successful for most people. You may experience itching afterwards but this does not necessarily mean that the lice have come back. Do not use the lotion more often than …

Genital Warts »

… be able to diagnose the warts just by looking at them. Many people with warts also have other infections, even if they have no other symptoms. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a full sexual-health check-up.

Where can I be treated?

If you think you have an infection or you have any worries about your sexual health, you can make an appointment with your family doctor or at a Integrated Sexual Health Clinic (formerly Genito-urinary GUM ). The Integrated Sexual Health Clinic …

I have cold sores »

… is another type of herpes that particularly affects the genitals (see sexually-transmitted infections – genital herpes). It is possible, though unusual, for the two types to cross over during an attack if unprotected oral sex takes place.

Something’s not right »

… speak to a professional about it.

Although the body is quite effective at healing itself, many Infections can cause more serious consequences if they are left to develop. In particular, if you have picked up a sexually-transmitted infection, you should see someone about it sooner rather than later. Nearly all infections can be treated, and in every case, treatment is much easier and more effective the earlier the infection can be identified. If left untreated, many infections will spread …

What’s that smell? »

… like sweat, Vaginal fluid or Semen . Thus most smells are not associated with any Infections .

If someone’s personal hygiene is not taken care of, then these substances build up, and the smells get stronger. Washing daily, and giving particular care to areas where substances could build up (for example under the foreskin of an uncircumcised man or boy, or the Vaginal area of a woman or girl) will mean any mild smells are meant to be there and should not become …

I have an itch »

… causes could be scabies, a tiny skin mite (see scabies), or pubic lice (see sexually-transmitted  infections – pubic lice).

If the itch is caused by an infection (sexually-transmitted or otherwise) it is important to talk to a doctor about it, so that it can be treated quickly. You could go to see your GP or contact your local sexual health service (see directory of services).

Personal hygiene plays an important part in the condition of our skin. Washing daily and paying particular …

It hurts when I pee »

… of infection, then it will probably need to be treated to clear it up.

There are a number of Infections that can cause discomfort when passing urine. Some are sexually-transmitted infections: for example Chlamydia , NSU or gonnorhoea. Some are not sexually-transmitted: for example cystitis, or other urinary infections. It is possible to treat most infections quickly and easily, especially if they are identified early on.

If you are concerned about anything, you could have a full …

Who should use contraception? »

… it is only male and female Condoms that can provide protection against sexually-transmitted Infections ( STIs ).

The question of who is responsible for the use of contraception is much debated. The simple way of looking at it is that contraception should be used by anyone having a sexual relationship who wants to avoid the risk of pregnancy. Condoms will give protection to both partners against STIs. Each person is responsible for their own sexual health, and has a responsibility to …

Painful Sex »

… menopause.

Endometriosis – this usually causes pain deep inside the vagina.

  Infections – sexually transmitted infections ( STIs ) or non-sexually transmitted genital infections e.g. thrush.

 Vaginismus -this is when the muscles of the pelvic floor go into spasm. This causes pain, both superficially and deep inside.

  Allergic reactions – to the material of some condoms, spermicide or contraceptive creams, and devices used for …

Painful Ejaculation »

… . This inflammation may be result of a sexually transmitted infection ( STI ) or some other infections.

STIs are dealt with in more detail in the Infections section of this web site.

How can painful ejaculation be treated?

Whatever the cause of the inflammation, it needs to be investigated by a doctor so that proper treatment can be decided upon. This may be as simple as undertaking a course of antibiotics.


If you are having this problem, you should make an …

Bacterial Vaginosis »

… by looking at the sample down a microscope. Women with bacterial vaginosis sometimes have other infections as well, so it is worth thinking about having a full sexual-health check-up. This is very simple and usually involves taking a few samples and maybe a blood test.

How is bacterial vaginosis treated?

The most common treatment is a special antibiotic called metronidazole or flagyl. Symptoms usually disappear within a day or two. Partners do not need to be seen or treated. …

Scabies »

… If you are sexually active you may want to consider being tested for any sexually acquired infections.

How will I tell my partner?

It is important to keep scabies in perspective. Scabies is a common infection, which is easily treated with either cream or lotion, which both work the same way. It might help if you show your partner or household this website.

Thrush »

… sexy and healthy

Thrush is not something you can catch from your partner. However, there are infections that are passed from one person to another during sex and these are called sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). Having safer sex is the best way to protect yourself and your partner from STI’s.

NHS Health Scotland have produced a leaflet on Vaginal Health which gives more information on Thrush and this is available in several different languages.  To access the leaflet go …

CD4 Counts »

… them to produce more HIV. This reduces the total number of CD4 cells available to fight other infections.

Monitoring CD4 Counts

Even while someone with HIV feels well, millions of CD4 cells are being invaded and destroyed by HIV daily and millions more are being produced to replace them. Over a number of years, the CD4 count usually declines. A CD4 count of between 500 and 200 indicates that damage has been done to your immune system. A CD4 count of below 200 means that you are at …

The HIV Test »

… and can be anonymous. They also give you the chance to be tested for other sexually transmitted infections at the same time, to talk about any concerns you have and to be referred to other services you might need. Just visit your GP, local sexual health service, or specialist charity. http://www.lanarkshiresexualhealth.org/hiv-hepatitis/hivclinics/hiv-clinics/

If you do want to use a self-test kit, have a think beforehand:  how you would feel and what would you do if the test shows …

Drugs and HIV »

… the street, don’t touch it. Even though the risk of catching HIV is very low, there are other infections that can be caught from used injecting equipment. Phone your local Environmental Health Department who will send someone to deal with it. The number is in the phone book under the name of your local council.

If the skin has been broken or pierced by a needle or other sharp instrument, this is what you should do:

Gently squeeze the wound, to encourage it to bleed

Do not suck …

Excuses/Answers for not using Condoms »

… , or you think that the condom burst, you should consider a check-up for Sexually Transmitted Infections ( STIs ) and getting emergency contraception.

Emergency contraception can help prevent a woman from becoming pregnant. It comes in two forms, the emergency contraception pill (also known as the morning after pill) and the IUD (also known as the coil). The sooner you access emergency contraception (Levonelle or ELLA1), the more likely it is to work.


I don’t …

Condoms! »

… here’s a few things you might not know. 

There are lots of sexually transmitted infections out there and some of them you might not even know you have. Also, HIV is on the rise among young people in the West of Scotland and there is still no cure for it. More heterosexual people than gay people are getting HIV, and a lot of those are younger people. If you are having penetrative sex, the only way to be sure of avoiding all these is to use a condom or a femidom, …

Your Prostate »

… with Urinating are the main Symptom, but it can be associated with Urinary tract Infections (UTIs) and kidney damage if left untreated. Accurate diagnosis can only be made by medical examination so go to your GP if you notice any problems urinating.


Mild cases should be monitored for change but treatment may be unnecessary unless quality of life is seriously affected. Medical or surgical intervention may be required at that point. Some medications work by …

Penile Cancer »

… foreskin or the shaft, which does not go away even after treatments for sexually transmitted infections . It is very important to report these to your doctor as the sooner action is taken, the less damage will result to the penis and the greater is the chance of long term survival.

Prostate Cancer »

… with Urinating are the main Symptom , but it can be associated with Urinary tract Infections (UTIs) and kidney damage if left untreated. Accurate diagnosis can only be made by medical examination so go to your GP if you notice any problems Urinating.


Mild cases should be monitored for change but treatment may be unnecessary unless quality of life is seriously affected. Medical or surgical intervention may be required at that point. Some medications work by …

Female Genital Mutilation »

… term physical effects include difficulties with sexual, reproductive and general health.

Infections of the urinary tract and pelvis may be recurrent due to the difficulties expelling body fluids. Sexual activity may be limited and difficult even in culturally approved situations due to the extent of mutilation and the scarring which occurs. Mutilation doubles the risk of maternal death during childbirth, and quadruples the chance of the child being stillborn.

The trauma both …

Anus and Rectum »

… .

Any unprotected oral or penetrative anal sex makes the person vulnerable to the numerous infections which are outlined in detail elsewhere on this site under the headings of HIV - AIDS - Hepatitis and Infections. It is useful to make yourself aware of the dangers involved upon becoming infected, and take the precautions outlined in the Safer Sex section of the site. It is safer to use a condom for penetrative anal sex, one that is designed to be strong enough for this activity …

Prostitution »

… position – for whatever reason – you should try to take care to protect yourself from sexual infections with regular checkups.  This can be done at any NHS Lanarkshire sexual health service.  No-one will judge you and you can speak to a worker about any aspect of support or care.  We understand that prostitution is extremely difficult to leave and to stay out of.  If you wish to speak to someone about changing your circumstances, you can do so in confidence.  If you are operating …

Learning About Sex »

… people very vulnerable to abuse or exploitation, or exposed to the risks of Sexually Transmitted Infections .

Full, open and appropriate Sexual Health and Relationships Education (SHRE) can help create the confidence that promotes positive sexual health. Information should be readily accessible and in a form that suits the individual. It needs to acknowledge developing sexuality and value the person for who they are.

Young disabled people need to prepare for adulthood and parents of …

Alcohol & Sexual Health »

… just not bother with it. Remember that any unprotected sex can carry a risk of pregnancy and/or infections.

It is a great idea to have condoms with you all the time because this means they are available when you might need them. Try to stay aware of your sexual health even when you’re drunk. You can still do what you like, and keep safe.

Illicit Drugs »

… needles, syringes and other equipment carries a high risk of contracting a number of serious infections /viruses including HIV and Hepatitis C.  What some people don’t realise is that the risk is not just limited to injecting equipment, but can also be passed through the paraphernalia that is used to sniff drugs.  Infection can be passed through bank notes or straws that are used to sniff drugs, but also through water, cups and spoons.  To keep you safe, never share equipment …